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Streetcars, Old ships, and Cable Cars

In the City by the Bay...the fog is gone, fall is in the air, and the tourist count has dwindled a bit.   So, if you have about 3-4 weekend hours to spare, let's go to a few San Francisco spots that most folks (locals included) may have HEARD about, but never actually checked out.   Be prepared, 'cause this outing will be packed with a surprising amount of content and other off-beat "sights".  And, as is my wont, I will sometimes stop and share my enthusiastic knowledge for local history and geography. 

We start by meeting at the San Francisco Railway Museum (near Embarcadero Bart stop) where you can take in some colorful history on San Francisco transit systems.  We will stay just long enough to view a fascinating video on the colorful history of San Francisco's transit systems.  The video takes you on a cable car ride down Market Street, a few days prior to the 1906 quake (or click here).  After the short video, we will catch a vintage streetcar (F-line, $2) to the Pier 39 end point -- the streetcar being a donated or castaway antique from a major world city.   


No plans to explore Pier 39 -- we will disembark and stroll straight through the F'Wharf tourist district, dodging the t-shirt shops, a bushman, and other odd fixtures -- though you might care to grab a snack or lunch items along the way.  Our goal will actually be to reach the Hyde Street historic pier ($5).   Assuming the government shut-down has ended (it's part of the national park system!), you will be able to board some fine relics of the Bay Area's romantic maritime transit past -- including a three-square masted sailing ship and a huge steam power car ferry, which was the pre-GGB transit mode to get to Marin county and back.   Allow for about 1 1/2 hours, including lunch break.

At around 1:00 pm or so, we will queue up for the Powell-Hyde street line ($6) at Victorian Park, just up the street from the Hyde street pier.  We will hop on the little "cable car to the stars" which will literally be pulled up Russian Hill at the heady pace of 9.5 mph.   We will then disembark at the corner of Washington & Mason for our next hot spot -- the Cable Car Museum.  More than just a museum of the only operating cable car service in the world -- it actually houses the power-distribution source for the entire system, a kind of 19th century "steam-punk" throw-back to a maze of whirring, spinning gear systems, sheaves, and pulleys.   


And, not to be missed...if you'll follow me on a stroll North on Mason, you'll discover a (much) lesser known San Francisco micro-park of steep steps and incredible vistas out to the Gate, the Bay, Chinatown, and Downtown.  Whew.   I expect this will wrap around 3:00 pm.   Not only that, if you want to "take it to the next level", Chinatown is only a few blocks away...




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  • Anna M

    Thanks, Marcus - lovely day for a mini-tour of the city! Great to hang with all of you - and see you again soon!

    October 26, 2013

  • Teresa

    Great time visiting a new area of the city. And the company was great. Who knew riding on a cable car could be so fun.

    October 26, 2013

  • Keith

    Thanks for organiIng, Marcus. it was fun to explore a little and meet everyone.

    October 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Marcus I am on the way...will look for the group in the museum :-)

    October 26, 2013

    • Marcus

      Roberta, we will be walking to the Hyde street, F line is NOT running , buses start at 11:00am

      October 26, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sorry I missed you...my connection to the museum was going to be the f line. Enjoy guys!

      October 26, 2013

  • Keith

    I may be a few minutes late, but I'm en route.

    October 26, 2013

  • Teresa

    On my way so glad you didn't cancel

    October 26, 2013

  • Anna M

    I am still totally up for this ... but given the smallish turnout, I will not be offended if you choose to reschedule, Marcus! Just need to know before 9:30 am!

    October 26, 2013

    • Marcus

      we're still on

      2 · October 26, 2013

    • Paula A

      I really wish I would be up for it. Hopefully you can do something similar again soon Marcus. Enjoy!

      October 26, 2013

  • Paula A

    Feeling under the weather this morning. Was looking forward to it, bummer! Please repeat and I will be there!...Have fun.

    October 26, 2013

  • Teresa

    Can't wait. So glad bart is back.

    October 25, 2013

  • Teresa

    As long as Bart is back I will be there.

    October 20, 2013

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